Would a High Line–style public park work in Queens?

The QueensWay is just one of many urban projects (including the Lowline on the Lower East Side) inspired by the High Line.

The three-and-a-half mile-long QueensWay would travel through parts of Forest Park.

The three-and-a-half mile-long QueensWay would travel through parts of Forest Park.

The New York Times has a lengthy piece today on the proposed QueensWay, a High Line–like project that would turn a three-and-a-half-mile piece of disused train track into a public park. No timeline has been set for the new greenway as yet—it's still in the planning and funding stages, and only recently received a $467,000 grant from New York State—but the proposed space sounds pretty cool. Possible features include a bike path and on-site art installations, and the "linear park" would provide a path from Rego Park to Ozone Park.

Add this to the list of urban projects inspired by the High Line: In NYC, plans for the Lowline, which would open in a trolley terminal undernearth Delancey Street, are still being developed. Meanwhile, other cities are coming up with their own concepts for elevated parks—Philadelphia's Reading Viaduct and Jersey City's Harsimus Stem Embankment are just a few ideas that riff on the "rail-to-trail" model popularized by the High Line.

The idea isn't without its critics: Ben Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas has questioned both the Lowline and the QueensWay, noting that, in both cases, "we have to adequately assess whether or not the space can be restored to its original intended use." (He also points out that the High Line benefited from its Chelsea locale—already a tourist-heavy area—and the QueensWay, at least, doesn't have that built-in visitor base.) As it is, whether or not these projects will be realized remains to be seen—both have significant hurdles to clear (in the case of the Lowline, MTA approval; for the QueensWay, funding issues) before they can move forward.